Indiana joins the anti-tobacco PR crusade, issues dollars 30m RFP

INDIANAPOLIS: The Tobacco Executive Board, a group created by the

State of Indiana to reduce smoking, has issued a dollars 30 million RFP

to develop and implement a marketing campaign to reduce adult and youth

tobacco use. The budget is dollars 6 million-dollars 7 million per year

for the life of the contract, which is one year with three renewable

options.



Under the terms of the agreement between the states' attorneys general

and the tobacco companies, Indiana receives between dollars 130.8 and

dollars 171.2 million a year. According to the Campaign for Tobacco

Free Kids, the Hoosier State should be spending between dollars 34.8 and

dollars 95.8 million annually on tobacco prevention programs.



The PR portion calls for development and execution of a plan to support

the media advertising program; a launch event; design and production of

collateral promotional materials including logo development and

tracking of media relations activities.



Other duties that may fall into the PR area include outreach components

at statewide annual events, such as the Indiana State Fair, and

strategies to reach minority audiences. In fact, each respondent must

have minority business participation either through sub-contractors or

second-tier participation with common suppliers that could include

courier services and office supplies.



RFPs are due May 25. A process to determine a lead agency should be made

fairly quickly since the Board hopes to start the contract July 1.



More states are expected to issue solicitations in the near future.

Pennsylvania's is expected in May and Maryland's in July.



Despite the flurry of proposals hitting the streets, Campaign for

Tobacco Free Kids, an organization started by Bill Novelli, founder of

Porter Novelli, claims the states are not living up to their promise to

spend the tobacco money.



In a recently released report, 17 states have made 'substantial

commitment to fund tobacco prevention and cessation.' However, of these

states, only six met the minimum funding levels recommended by the

Center for Disease Control. The report says two of these states, Arizona

and California, fund their programs from state tobacco excise taxes, not

settlement dollars.



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